Welcome to my blog; inspired by Hemmingway's A Moveable Feast, a desire to record the more succulent and misshapen nuggets of my Parisian adventure in nibble-size lobes for your light-entertainment and my anticipated future memory failure, and to get some things off my chest and onto yours.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Phonographic Paris: A Field Sound Diary of the City

Fresh for 2012, Notes on Paris will be making a left turn by moving away from the written word and turning its readers into listeners.

Paris has and will always have plenty of people writing about it.  Barely any street nor bar nor bridge nor monument has been left un-dissected by Panamophiles* accross the planet.

What is often missed out though in the discussion of any place, is not what it looks like, but what it sounds like; a factor which so often colours our appreciation of a locale and the time that we spend there.

A photograph may show a beautiful scene, behind which may be a wreckage.  A photograph can tell the truth, but can just as easily lie.  It is just a moment, a split second- it is not representative of a place or a time.

A Phonographer (one who makes field recordings) can also miss something of course, deliberately or not, but his sounds are raw and honest and untouched, and can add much to sensing and absorbing the character of any given place.  In the same way, if it were possible, a 'Smellography' of a place would be equally valuable as a way of capturing a part of what it is to be somewhere, and expose all our senses to its essence.

Why not take videos of the city? One may ask- that way we have sight and sound as opposed to just one or the other.  The problem with video, is that as visual impulses tend to be dominant over aural ones for most people, we would not focus in enough on the sound, and it is that that I would like to offer here.

I add photos to help you listeners see where the sounds were recorded.  The sounds are all continuous unadulterated 100 second samples.

Outside Notre Dame
18th January 2012

Hundreds of pigeons and other assorted birds and tourists...followed by the interruption of those inescapable city ambulances.  

Before they get too close, the duet between birds and ambulances is quite promising...

 Birds and Ambulance Duet, Notre Dame by timothytate

Place des Vosges
18th January 2012

 Place des Vosges by timothytate

* Paname is a nickname for Paris.  'Panamophiles' is a related word which I made up...

No comments:

Post a Comment